Himachal: Man Commits Suicide After Facing Social Boycott Over COVID-19 Suspicion

Una: In a shocking incident, a 37-year-old man in Himachal Pradesh’s Una hanged himself to death on April 5, after allegedly facing ‘social boycott’ by villagers, who suspected him to be infected with COVID-19 despite testing negative for it. The man, identified as Mohammad Dilshad, committed suicide under a shed at his residence in Bangarh village, a day after health officials notified him that he had tested negative for COVID-19. He was taken to a quarantine facility a few days ago where he tested negative for the virus. Una Sadar SHO Darshan Singh said Dilshad was exposed to a Tablighi Jamaat member who had returned from Delhi’s Nizamuddin recently.

Commenting on the suicide, DGP Sita Ram Mardi said, “Some villagers pointed out that this man was a suspected COVID-19 patient. He was quarantined and tested negative for the infection. When he returned to his village, he was discriminated and socially boycotted by villagers. At this, he committed suicide.” The DGP also assured of strict action against villagers who had ostracised Dilshad. The SHO, however, informed that they did not find any discrimination or social boycott during their investigation. “Members of the man’s family did not level any such allegations. The investigating officer recorded statements of his two relatives but they did not state anything like this in their statements,” the SHO said.